Firm Profile > Fenech & Fenech Advocates > Valletta, Malta
Fenech & Fenech Advocates Offices
198 OLD BAKERY STREET
VALLETTA VLT 1455
Fenech & Fenech Advocates > The Legal 500 Rankings
Fenech & Fenech Advocates' practice, which has 'very good knowledge' across the commercial and corporate space, is headed by 'excellent professional' Nicholai Vella Falzon, who has 'great experience in corporate law'. Recent work includes negotiating shareholders' agreements, assisting with new corporate set-ups and establishment of services in Malta, as well as due diligence proceedings. Antonio Ghio provides corporate and regulatory advice in the IT and gaming sectors, while the wider team is also experienced in handling big-ticket acquisitions and international restructurings.
Nicholai Vella Falzon
‘Management is very experienced in a wide variety of legal matters. We mainly seek advice on corporate issues which they have very good knowledge of and expertise in.’
‘Nicholai Vella Falzon is an excellent attorney, great experience in corporate law. His advice is always accurate and comprehensive. He is always available for the company and willing to resolve any issue that may arise. He is an excellent professional.’
‘Highly knowledgeable. Both academically as well as in practice. Clearly they have been involved in a large number of significant transactions and represent a number of large clients which allows them to provide advice hinging on that experience.’
‘Ability to advise in a practical manner.’
‘Their ability to grasp issues in relation to cross-border transactions was phenomenal. Further, their turn around time was exemplary.’
‘Josie Anne Brimmer: was available at short notice and provided simple, pragmatic advice.’
‘Expertise in IT legal and contractual matters.’
‘Antonio Ghio for his expertise in IT legal and contractual matters.’
Aercap Ireland Limited
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
Malta Public Transport
Gaming Innovation Group
MSV Life plc
Tain Betting Limited
Dispute resolution Tier 1
The team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates includes practitioners with expertise in a range of sectors. Ann Fenech, who leads the marine litigation department, represented Bezzina Ship Repair Yard Limited in proceedings against the British government and acted for the Grimaldi Group and Sullivan Maritime Limited in a matter concerning contentious claims over cargo damages. Nicholai Vella Falzon handles commercial and corporate litigation; he acted for SPI Energy Group in a damages claim for a share purchase agreement breach. TMT specialist Antonio Ghio represented KPMG Crimsonwing plc in proceedings relating to alleged software copyright infringements. Employment disputes work is handled by Paul Gonzi, while Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima handle general litigation. The 'extremely knowledgeable' Adrian Attard made partner in January 2019.
Ann Fenech, Edward Debono, Kenneth Grima, Nicholai Vella Falzon, Antonio Ghio, Paul Gonzi
‘Personal attention beyond compare.’
‘Smart and capable, having an excellent knowledge of the law, giving the client time to express his or her opinion as the client sees things before the client is given advice. Very impressed with the younger generation joining this legal firm.’
‘I have dealt with Fenech & Fenech in various capacities for around 20 years. The firm has grown exponentially during that time, and has become a veritable trove of legal expertise on all facets of law. The firm has legal experts in all possible fields of law, which makes it a legal one-stop shop for any business. They have some of the most renowned and respected legal minds as partners, and the quality of their associates is second to none. The fact that even though the firm is probably the largest in Malta, the partners are very accessible, makes them without doubt the strongest legal office in the country and surely one of the best in Europe.’
‘We are involved in the maritime industry, and were drawn to the firm having watched Ann Fenech in action in court. In the last years we have been working with Adrian Attard, who I am pleased to say has now risen to partner in the firm. Adrian Attard is surely already one of the top maritime lawyers in the country. He is extremely knowledgeable, diligent, very organised and truly a pleasure to work with. I have consulted Adrian on a number of issues, his communication is excellent, and he is able to explain even the most complex legal issues in a way a client can easily understand him. He has also proven himself to be very reliable and a consummate professional. Most competitors I would term as either legally knowledgeable but unable to communicate clearly or disorganised (rushing from one thing to another), both things which make the client feel stranded.’
Bezzina Ship Repair Yard Limited
Oasis Energy Co LLC
International Fuel Suppliers Limited
Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd
Mediterranean Insurance Brokers
Fish & Fish
GVC Holdings plc
Cyprus Popular Bank
Malta Public Transport Services (Operations) Limited
SPI Energy Inc
H.F. Investments Limited
Intellectual property Tier 1
Fenech & Fenech Advocates' IP remit extends from reviewing agreements and due diligence exercises, to handling copyright infringement claims and trade mark registration, maintenance and vetting. Singled out as 'leaders in music rights management', the team represents PRS for Music in infringement proceedings before the Maltese courts. Other highlights include acting for Mobis, as the sole authorised importer of Hyundai and Kia Motors car parts, in an action concerning parallel trade. Practice head Antonio Ghio leads on all matters, while junior associate Sarah Cannataci provides 'good advice and is always able to deal with any queries'. Jeanine Rizzo, formerly a senior associate at the firm, left in January 2019.
‘Fenech and Fenech are the territory leaders in music rights management and deal with all of our infringement cases.‘
‘Sarah Cannataci has always provided good advice and is always available to deal with any queries I have.‘
PRS for Music
Gaming Innovation Group (GIG)
Private client Tier 1
The private client team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is 'professional' and 'knowledgeable', while providing a particular 'closeness and personal touch'. It is a popular choice to advise on applications for citizenship by investment for clients from across Europe and the Middle East, and also assists individuals who are relocating or seeking tax residency on the island. Practice head Rosanne Bonnici, who 'stands shoulders above other practitioners in her field', and associate Rebecca Diacono are both 'very efficient' and form the backbone of a team who provide 'best-in-class competences'.
‘They are unique because of their skill, knowledge, experience, network, co-operation, understanding of the client’s problems, and are custom-oriented in all aspects.’
‘Their service feels helpful, friendly, attentive, courteous, reminding with information and letters and they never forget anything.’
‘Well, Fenech & Fenech were hired for a specific reason, and the goal was achieved. I really think I have received best-in-class competences.’
‘For sure – knowledge of local market, custom, etc.’
‘We haven’t dealt with other firms in the sector and thus are unable to accurately draw a comparison to other competitors. However, we were very satisfied with the quality of service provided by the firm.’
‘Rebecca Diacono and Rosanna Bonnici were very efficient, and we were very happy with the level of professionalism and service provided.’
‘I work with several firms around the world, and at Fenech & Fenech have a very personal way of handling their clients/cases that makes you feel valued and understood. At the large international firms at times I feel as a number, a source of income, not a valued client. At Fenech & Fenech the closeness and personal touch that the partner and staff provide lets me know that they are looking out for my best interests. I have felt they understand what my needs/requirements are and they have implemented a strategy that is permitting me to achieve my goal.’
‘I have met personally on several occasions with Rosanne Bonnici, Rebecca Diacono, Sarah Pace and Sarah Rausi and have enjoyed working with them; they are very professional, knowledgeable and yet personal in their way of working. I am very confident that their knowledge of legal practices as well as their experience will guide me in concluding my business in Malta in a satisfactory way.’
‘I have known Fenech & Fenech for many years now and for me what makes them unique is the quality of their lawyers and their product. Their culture is international and their product is high-end.’
‘Rosanne Bonnici stands shoulders above other practitioners in her field. She is technically excellent and a pleasure to work with on complex cross-border projects. A safe pair of hands. Rebecca Diacono is clearly a rising star, responsive and reliable.’
Shipping Tier 1
Ann Fenech and her team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates 'are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta' and are 'highly experienced and competent' across the entire range of shipping matters. With separate departments for marine litigation, yachting, ship finance and ship registration, the firm has 'professional specialists' in each area. Its recent work includes towage disputes and salvage claims for Tug Malta Limited and acting for Virtu Ferries in a matter concerning a high-speed ferry public procurement process. In other work, it handled the lifting of an arrest warrant for XT Shipping Group, resulting in a clarification of Maltese law concerning bunker delivery notes – a case led by Adrian Attard, who made partner in January 2019. Mark Fenech, Rowena Grima and Alison Vassallo are other names to note.
Ann Fenech, Mark Fenech, Rowena Grima, Alison Vassallo
‘Ann Fenech and her team are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta and are highly experienced and competent.’
‘You would want Ann Fenech on your side, and not against you.’
‘Very professional and reliable. Very good teamwork. Very professional individual specialists. Covering wide number of professional areas. Very trustful.‘
‘Mark Fenech, Lara Saguna, Charlotte Spiteri, Ann Fenech: very experienced, fast response, very efficient.‘
Tug Malta Ltd
Virtu Ferries Ltd
Steamship Mutual Management Services Limited
XT Shipping Group
Peninsula Petroleum Group
Aviation Tier 2
Fenech & Fenech Advocates handles commercial aviation transactions and regularly acts for large aircraft lessors in Gecas and AerCap, while also handling management operation set-up and aircraft registrations. The practice includes Joseph Ghio , who has a 'robust' approach, and Nicolai Vella Falzon, who 'acts with flawless integrity'. New clients include Qatar Airways, following the client's recent launch of daily flights from Malta to Doha.
Joseph Ghio, Nicolai Vella Falzon
‘My go to firm in Malta for aircraft finance matters. Knowledgeable, reliable, responsive and commercial.’
‘Fenech and Fenech are committed to providing an efficient, responsive and highly processional service to their clients. They have gone above and beyond to offer a diverse talent pool from across their firm to service our needs. We value them as a true partner.’
‘Joseph Ghio – an excellent lawyer, robust, responsive and practical.’
‘Nicolai Vella Falzon acts with flawless integrity and really cares for his clients. Nicolai and his team have been committed to servicing the complicated needs of our aviation business over the last few years and have always been at the end of the phone whenever we have needed their assistance and support. The quality of their deliverable is superb. On one occasion, Nicolai made the time to refer us to a competitor firm when he was not in a position to provide a direct solution to our challenges. This, in my view, is a true example of a preferred supplier; taking the time to seek a solution for us without benefiting from any financial gain.’
Nordic Aviation Capital
Fenech & Fenech Advocates' banking, finance and capital markets team is jointly led by Rosanne Bonnici, who handles all financial services and group restructurings, and investment funds expert Joseph Ghio. Recently, the team has assisted with obtaining licenses from the Maltese Financial Services Authority, handled pre-purchase due diligence work and defended various claims before the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services. Corporate and asset finance expert Josianne Brimmer is frequently involved in high-profile matters.
Investment funds Tier 2
Fenech & Fenech Advocates assists domestic and international investment entities with all fund matters. Its recent work includes providing regulatory guidance to professional investor funds. The firm has also acted for clients in two Maltese firsts: the setting-up of a loan investment fund and the registration of a fund able to issue tokenised units. Joseph Ghio is one of the 'go-to guys when it comes to anything in the investment industry'; Rosanne Bonnici 'marries her funds knowledge with her tax expertise'; and Josianne Brimmer is also noted.
Rosanne Bonnici, Joseph Ghio
‘Joseph Ghio is one of my go-to guys when it comes to anything in the investment industry. If there’s a solution, he will find it. Rosanne Bonnici marries her funds knowledge with her tax expertise. Comes in very useful!‘
Real estate Tier 2
Fenech & Fenech Advocates benefits from 'a huge network' and real 'market know-how' to handle property conveyancing, purchases of residential or commercial premises, and contentious real estate matters. Highlights included assisting C&F Building Contractors Limited and other companies in the group with property acquisitions and acting for Project Technik Limited in a dispute concerning finishing works related to the Malta Life Sciences Park. Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima lead a 'to the point' and 'efficiently structured' team, ably supported by senior associates Carl Grech, who 'analyses complex cases and problems very efficiently', and Daniel Buttigieg, who is well known for his litigation expertise.
Edward Debono, Kenneth Grima
‘Fenech & Fenech is very competent and professional with a huge network and market know-how. Additionally we appreciate the 24/7 availability and the excellent client service.’
‘Carl Grech is highly motivated and passionate about his profession. He anticipates our needs and advises us accordingly in a very social manner. Our partner Carl Grech analyses complex cases and problems very efficiently and explains them in an easy and understandable way. Additionally the discussed solutions have been to the point, efficiently structured and highly effective.’
C & F Building Contractors Limited
Project Technik Limited
Med Development Services Limited
Vella Falzon Building Supplies Limited
Ray Zammit Group
Charlie Properties Limited
Fintech Tier 3
With particular knowledge of blockchain matters, Fenech & Fenech Advocates acts for clients including digital asset trading platforms and virtual finance service providers. It frequently advises on the set-up and ensuing regulation or maintenance of DLT entities in Malta. Rosanne Bonnici, Antonio Ghio – who also acts as a director and company secretary for a number of financial services entities licensed by the MFSA – and Joseph Ghio head the practice. Bonnici contributes to the drafting of regulations, most recently to the revenue guidelines on blockchain.
Rosanne Bonnici, Antonio Ghio, Joseph Ghio
Fenech & Fenech Advocates > Firm Profile
The firm: Established in 1891, Fenech & Fenech Advocates is one of the oldest largest full service law firms on the island, a recognised leader in all aspects of maritime, commercial, corporate, tax, mergers and acquisitions, asset and corporate finance, ship finance, financial services, FinTech (including the new Virtual Financial Assets (blockchain based) – regulatory regime), aviation, intellectual property, employment, igaming and TMT law, with a notable litigation team having expert litigators in most areas of the law. Through its in-house corporate services group, the Fenlex group (www.fenlex.com), which also includes a licensed trust and fiduciary company, and its ship registration arm Fenech & Fenech Marine Services Ltd, the firm provides comprehensive advice and services. All of the firm’s lawyers are highly specialised in their fields, with a number actively involved in the development and amendment of laws, lecturing, both locally and overseas, as well as assisting government with legislative assignments related to their practice areas.
Main Areas of Practice: Maritime: The firm’s maritime activities are handled by four departments: marine litigation, ship registration, ship finance, and yachting. The marine litigation department’s practice covers a wide cross section of shipping and maritime issues, ranging from ship repair to carriage of goods, from shipping casualties to maritime investigations, from mortgage enforcements to bunkering disputes; it acts for owners, hull and machinery underwriters and P and I clubs in the vast majority of shipping casualties taking place around Malta or relating to Maltese registered vessels and is involved in the majority of cases brought before the Maltese courts. The ship registration and ship finance departments jointly represent some of the largest fleets and most important financiers in the world, whilst the yachting department assists owners and financiers of some of the world’s largest super yachts used for private as well as commercial purposes. Various members of these departments are regularly invited to lecture and speak extensively on the subject at Maltese and foreign fora.
Financial services: The firm’s financial services department is actively involved in assisting the whole spectrum of financial services operators, including banks, fund managers, investment service providers and insurance companies. The team also assists promoters of investment funds and fund platforms, handling the licensing process as well as advising same on an ongoing basis. Members of the team are also approved by the regulator to accept appointments by licensed operators as directors, compliance officers, MLRO and company secretaries.
FinTech / Blockchain: In addition to advising financial services operators in the FinTech space, the firm’s FinTech Team is also uniquely placed to service operators in the blockchain space. The Team draws on the firm’s Financial Services, TMT and Tax & Immigration law teams, as well as the Fenlex Group, to advise issuers with respect to ICOs and listings of tokens, as well as with respect to applications for licences to provide services with respect to virtual financial assets.
Project, corporate and asset finance: The firm advises finance providers or borrowers on an ongoing basis in relation to Maltese law issues arising in the context of multinational finance transactions, typically where Maltese vehicles are required to provide security as part of the security pool provided by the borrower.
International tax and immigration: The firm’s tax and immigration law department is recognised as the leading tax and immigration law team in Malta and advises a predominantly international clientele on all direct and indirect tax matters, which service is supplemented by that provided by the in-house corporate services group’s tax compliance team. The team advises on the full spectrum of immigration and tax issues, M&As, domestic and international taxation, tax efficient cross-border structures with a focus on inbound investment, restructuring projects, tax planning structures, and other fiscal issues relating to companies, trusts and foundations. The firm also advises private clients on personal tax and financial issues, on immigration law matters relative to relocation to Malta, residence and employment permits and citizenship applications, as well as with respect to clients’ wealth and estate planning requirements.
Trusts and foundations: The firm’s trusts and foundations department assists clients with the settlement of trusts and registration of foundations, private and public, and advises on related estate planning issues generally.
M&A: The firm is an active leader in this field, having advised local and foreign organisations on numerous M&A transactions, including cross-border M&A transactions over the years. It has been directly involved in most of the local privatisation projects, and other major acquisition projects on the local market, and has acted for government and private enterprise alike in numerous M&A transactions with capacity to handle the complete acquisition process from due diligence stage, through drafting and negotiation of acquisition, investment or merger documents and perfection/completion of the M&A process.
Technology, media and telecoms: The firm’s expertise covers all aspects of technology and electronic communications law assisting a wide array of international blue chip companies with respect to their operations. The firm’s TMT and IP law department advises on various issues relating to technology such as outsourcing, software development, technology licensing, data protection, regulatory issues relating to telecommunications and is also very active in the online gaming industry. The department also assists clients in litigation matters relating to remote gaming, computer software licensing and intellectual property.
Aviation: The firm is a leader in aviation law in Malta, having been active in advising the national carrier for more than 20 years. It has one of the longest-established aviation law departments on the island providing a wide range of aviation law related services including registration of aircraft, aircraft security and mortgages, sale and purchase agreements, finance and operating lease agreements, local regulatory and licensing requirements for aircraft operators.
Estate conveyancing: The firm is heavily involved in assisting individuals and companies alike in relation to the acquisition and disposal of residential and commercial properties, in Malta and overseas.
Corporate and commercial: The firm is widely recognized for its expertise in corporate and commercial law, particularly M&A transactions, project and asset finance transactions and corporate and commercial litigation. The commercial and corporate law department is complemented by two separate departments of wide commercial application, namely a dedicated employment law department and a dedicated TMT and IP law department thereby guaranteeing a full service offering to its corporate clients.
Employment law: The firm’s employment law department offers specialised advice on employment law and industrial relations. The team of lawyers advises on all regulatory matters ranging from minimum conditions of work and drafting of contracts to complex restructuring, transfer of business (TUPE) regulations, redundancies and handling union matters and collective bargaining. The team also includes litigators who are well versed with the local Tribunals and Courts and thus can assist with handling individual or collective disputes, including advising on strategies geared towards compromise and/or litigation. The department is also well equipped to advise on data protection matters.
Intellectual property, art and cultural property: The IP team within the TMT and IP law department specialises in copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents laws; client advice ranges from registration strategies, to licensing, technology transfers, infringement action, and validation of European/international patents. The department handles all aspects of entertainment, video games and music law.
General litigation and dispute resolution: The firm’s team of experienced litigators and legal procurators is active in constitutional, public, administrative, criminal, civil, family, property, commercial, corporate, IP, TMT, remote gaming, consumer, and tax law cases and is also experienced in local and international mediation and arbitration as well as in local and international inheritance and probate matters.
Clients: The firm’s client base includes large supranational organisations, international ship owners, cruise line operators, multinational groups, high-net-worth individuals, banks, financial services providers, investment funds, protection and indemnity clubs, tug and salvage operators, charterers, public organisations, international airlines and the Maltese government.
|Aviation||Nicolai Vella Falzon|
|Corporate finance and capital markets||Rosanne Bonnici|
|Corporate finance and capital markets||Nicolai Vella Falzon|
|Financial services||Rosanne Bonnici|
|Financial services||Josianne Brimmer|
|Financial services||Joseph Ghio|
|General litigation||Edward De Bono|
|General litigation||Kenneth Grima|
|Information technology||Antonio Ghio|
|Intellectual property and media||Antonio Ghio|
|International trade||Nicolai Vella Falzon|
|International trade||Ann Fenech|
|Marine litigation||Ann Fenech|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Nicolai Vella Falzon|
|Property||Edward De Bono|
|Ship finance||Mark Fenech|
|Ship registration||Rowena Grima|
|Trusts/foundations||Monica Galea John|
|Marine Litigation||Adrian Attard|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 34
LanguagesEnglish French Italian Maltese
MembershipsTerraLex Association of European Lawyers (AEL) International Bar Association Eurocollectnet
OtherContact : Ann Fenech (Managing Partner)
Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the Fenech & Fenech Advocates culture, aligned to our values and essential to the way in which we do business. The Firm has a CSR Committee which has the duty and responsibility of planning, budgeting and managing the organisations CSR initiatives.
We monitor our improvement and impact within our workplace and the community and strive to ensure that we make a difference, even if small, in our working environment and the community on a number of levels, including by:
- trying to raise the aspirations of young people in education by making available work experience opportunities and traineeship programmes for young aspiring professionals, as well as encouraging our employees to further their studies by making available study leave and other assistance and incentive programmes to employees furthering their studies in relevant fields, which is over and above each employees vacation leave entitlement;
- ensuring that our organisation is accessible to people from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances
- providing access to funding and donations to support worthy causes, people in urgent need of financial assistance for medical or other reasons, and children from a disadvantaged background;
- working towards minimising our environmental impact;
- supporting the arts and Maltas cultural heritage.
A. Our Workplace
We are committed to providing our people with a safe, fair and inclusive work environment. We seek to engender an inclusive and collegiate workplace culture in which equal opportunities are genuinely available to all. We are committed to ensuring and improving gender balance and diversity across the Firm.
We want to be an employer of choice within our industry, and aim to recruit and retain the very best talent, to deliver high quality service to our clients.
The Firm has implemented a flexi-time and work-from-home policy which affords employees flexible working arrangements which suit the needs of the employee taking into account the organisations requirements and its commitment to providing its clients with an efficient and timely service.
B. Our Community
We are committed to providing access to funding and donations to the various organisations which do excellent work in the community working with differently abled people, children in care and people in need of urgent medical attention but may not have the means to obtain the same. Our employees take part in various fund-raising initiatives to help raise money for these worthy causes.
C. Environmental Commitment
We acknowledge that the business activities of our organisation have an impact on the environment. We proactively manage our environmental impacts through the central management of our offices, and are always looking towards ways of minimising wastage of resources.
D. Supporting the Arts and our Cultural Heritage
Operating, as we do, from the capital city of Malta, Valletta which is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, we are proud of our cultural heritage, and appreciate art, both classical and contemporary.
The Firm has an eclectic collection of works of art by local classical and contemporary artists and funds initiatives aimed at the preservation of our heritage.
Published: November 2019
Authors: Dr. Ann Fenech Dr. Adrian Attard Dr. Martina Farrugia
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Shipping laws and regulations that may occur in Malta.
Malta: Banking & Finance
Published: March 2020
Authors: Dr. Josianne Brimmer Dr. Joseph Ghio
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Banking & Finance laws and regulations that may occur in Malta.
Malta: Intellectual Property
Published: June 2020
Authors: Antonio Ghio Deo Falzon
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Intellectual Property laws and regulations that may occur in Malta.